CLEARWATER - With little discussion April 15, Pinellas County Commissioners unanimously approved a consultant’s plan for replacement of Beckett Bridge over Whitcomb Bayou in Tarpon Springs.
The decision was a long time coming. Officials have been looking for a way to solve problems with the aging bridge since January 2011 - the start date of a PD&E study by the county and Florida Department of Transportation.
The study’s goal was to determine whether to remove, rehabilitate or replace the existing bridge built in 1924. The bridge is functionally obsolete. In recent years, it has become costly and disruptive to continue making repairs. Safety is an issue as the bridge structure and its machinery continue to deteriorate. It has no shoulders and only narrow sidewalks.
TARPON SPRINGS - The U.S. Coast Guard “medically evacuated” an injured diver from a vessel located about 15 miles northwest of Tarpon Springs Wednesday morning.
Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg command center received notification about 10:33 a.m. from a crewmember aboard the charter dive vessel Narcosis, reporting that the diver had suffered injuries while diving and was unresponsive.
TARPON SPRINGS - Tommy Nguyen left home at 14, but it was barely by choice.
His father had been a high-ranking officer in the South Vietnamese Army, but when the Vietnam War ended in 1975, the communist government sentenced him to eight years in prison; his wife was sent to a work camp.
Even after he was released in 1983, the elder Nguyen was denied legal documents, which prevented him from living in one place for long and forcing the family to continue moving around Vietnam.
TARPON SPRINGS - After more than a decade, the Tarpon Springs shoreline restoration project is drawing to a close.
On Feb. 18, the City Commission voted to authorize payment of about $206,000 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, along with a contingency of about $94,000 for a total of $300,000.
The shoreline restoration project, originally approved in 2011, will stabilize approximately 2,800 feet of the eastern shoreline of Whitcomb Bayou and approximately 1,700 feet along the eastern and southern shorelines of Kreamer Bayou.
TARPON SPRINGS - Former Tarpon Springs Vice Mayor and City Commissioner Chris Alahouzos announced his candidacy for mayor for the 2016 election.
In his speech at the Spring Bayou platform on March 16, Alahouzos spoke of two programs he hopes to implement: the “Staying Put” or “Villages” program for senior citizens and a comprehensive evaluation and action program that would bring significant tax-bearing and job-creating industries to Tarpon Springs.
The Staying Put membership program aims to allow senior citizens to live in their own homes after losing the ability to drive and access local services, a program that has been implemented in more than 100 cities around the country.
TARPON SPRINGS - In a city known for its history, Tarpon Springs will once again go back to its roots to celebrate Greek Independence Day, the 193rd anniversary of Greece’s independence from rule by the Ottoman Empire.
On March 23, thousands of people will flock to Tarpon Springs to honor Independence Day, officially observed worldwide on March 25.
March 25 is also one of the holiest days on the Greek Orthodox calendar; known as Annunciation, it’s also the day the angel Gabriel is believed to have told the Virgin Mary that she would conceive and become the mother of Jesus.
TARPON SPRINGS - Pinellas County Sheriff’s detectives are seeking the public’s assistance in locating two credit card fraud/identity theft suspects from Tarpon Springs.
According to detectives, the two suspects obtained the credit card information of the victim from the Tarpon Springs area noon Feb. 25. The suspects then possibly created a cloned card and used it at various locations in Pinellas County.
TARPON SPRINGS - Voters elected Rea Sieber to Seat 2 on the Tarpon Springs Commission during the March 11 municipal election.
Sieber takes over for Vice Mayor Susan Slattery, who retired after reaching her two-term limit.
According to unofficial results posted on the Supervisor of Elections website, Sieber came out on top with 1,773 votes, 44.94 percent. Joe Muzio received 1,144 votes, 29 percent. Chris Hrabovsky took in 1,028 votes, 26.06 percent.
TARPON SPRINGS - Traffic is back to normal on U.S. 19 in Tarpon Springs Saturday night. The roadway was closed most of the day due to downed power lines and a multi-vehicle incident with two fatalities.
Tarpon Springs police reported that an officer on foot patrol checking businesses in Tarpon Tower heard a loud boom coming from the area of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and U.S 19 about 3 a.m. March 1.
Coffee with a Cop PINELLAS PARK – The Pinellas Park Police Department will kick off its new program, Coffee with a Cop, Thursday, April 17, 10 a.m. to noon, at Starbucks, 7350 U.S. 19 N.
This is a great opportunity to come meet and speak with a local police officer.
Call 244-1715 for more information.
Daisy Grant Fashion Show and Luncheon CLEARWATER – The GFWC/Clearwater Woman’s club will host its 43rd annual Daisy Grant Fashion Show and Luncheon on Thursday, April 17, at the Belleair Country Club, 1 Country Club Lane.
Bobbi Tafelski, manager of the Northwood Plaza store, will comment on fashions by Patchington. Models are members of the club and also feature Margaret Wood Burnside, editor of the Tampa Bay Magazine.
The theme is “Casual Elegance” and was introduced by Coco Chanel when she created “the little black dress” and started a fashion revolution by liberating women from the corset.
The Daisy fundraiser awards grants to nonprofit organizations in the Clearwater community, including Clothes to Kids, Meals on Wheels, Hacienda Girls Ranch, Clearwater Library System, and many others.
Gift baskets will be offered through raffle tickets.
Event tickets are $45 or $55 for patrons and include a listing in the program. Make reservations by April 10 by calling 726-6410.
Dining in the Dark ST. PETERSBURG – The Foundation Fighting Blindness, a national nonprofit focused on sight-saving research, will open guests’ eyes to the challenges of the visually impaired at its fifth annual Tampa Bay/St. Petersburg Dining in the Dark on Thursday, April 17, at the Renaissance Vinoy Resort & Golf Club in St. Petersburg.
To recognize their philanthropic and professional accomplishments in the Tampa Bay community, the foundation will present its Visionary Award to Joyce and Walter Larson, philanthropist and founder of Larson Communities, and to Judy Genshaft, University of South Florida president.
Serving as master of ceremonies again this year will be Dick Crippen, sports personality and Tampa Bay Rays senior adviser.
Dining in the Dark is a distinctive sensory awareness experience in which guests participate in an unforgettable dining adventure, in complete darkness.
To get a glimpse into the lives of the blind, diners will wear special light-blocking blindfolds and enjoy their entrée using only their heightened senses of smell, sound, taste and touch.
The one-of-a-kind event will benefit the foundation’s cutting-edge research into preventions, treatments and cures for vision-robbing retinal degenerative diseases like macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, Usher syndrome and related conditions.
Individual tickets are $150 each and sponsor packages begin at $1,000. For ticket and sponsorship information, call Kimberly Marlow at 954-496-0776 or email KMarlow@FightBlidness.org.
Gaming Club INDIAN ROCKS BEACH – The Seminole Recreation Division now offers an adult Gaming Club that meets the third Thursday of every month, 5 to 9 p.m., at the Holland G. Mangum Recreation Complex, 9100 113th St. N.
This group is open to individuals 16 and older. Various board and card games will be available.
This program is free for members and $3 for nonmembers.
Historical Society meeting PINELLAS PARK – The Pinellas Park Historical Society meets the third Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at Park Station, 5851 Park Blvd.
Refreshments will be available.
Call 541-6206 for more information.
Largo’s Teen Idol competition LARGO – Do you have the vocal talent and confidence to become Largo’s next Teen Idol? Find out at this year’s Teen Idol Competition and Show Thursday, April 17, 7 to 9 p.m., at the Largo Cultural Center.
All teens ages 13-18 are eligible to participate in this amateur vocal performance competition. Auditions will be held March 18 and 19 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Largo Cultural Center, 105 Central Park Drive.
Bring two forms of identification, one must be a photo ID. A registration form must be completed prior to the audition date. Registration forms can be found at www.LargoArts.com or at the center.
Tickets for the final show are $6.50 and can be purchased in advance at the Largo Cultural Center Box Office or at LargoArts.com.
For more information, contact Jessica at 587-6740. ext. 5014 or firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Box Office Hotline at 587-6793.
LARGO – A Overeaters Anonymous group meets Thursdays, 10:30 a.m., at Aldersgate Methodist Church, 9350 Starkey Road.
Overeaters Anonymous is a program of recovery for eating disorders.
For information, call Jeanette at 392-3108. There are no dues and no fees and a list of meetings may be viewed at oapinellas.org
Palm Harbor Toastmasters meeting
PALM HARBOR – The Palm Harbor Toastmasters Club meets Thursdays from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at The Centre, 1500 16th St.
The club is open to all who are interested in perfecting their public speaking skills.
For more information, contact Jack Lynch at 542-6100 or email email@example.com.
Friday Morning Market
TREASURE ISLAND – The annual Friday Morning Market is underway at Treasure Island Community Park and will continue through early April. The event, which features a variety of vendors, is open each Friday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is free.
Holy Friday Procession TARPON SPRINGS – Easter weekend will begin on April 18 with the Holy Friday Procession, hosted by the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral.
The procession, which will begin at 8:45 p.m. and last until about 9:45 p.m,, will run along N. Pinellas Avenue, Orange Street, Ring Street and N. Tarpon Avenue, disrupting traffic on all of the roads beginning at 8 p.m.